Making your Characters Realistic with Dialogue andNarration.

Have you ever read a book and thought the following:

1. There's too much narration! It's too dense!

2. There's not enough dialogue for me to tell which character is who!

3. The character's seem so bland! I can't even relate to them!

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Trust me, I've been in the same boat as all of you thinking those same thoughts. I'm not going to name names; however, I've read plenty of books where the narration was AWFUL, the characterization wasn't built up to what it could have been, and there was not enough dialogue. With characters, dialogue is essential to make them stand out. Once you understand how dialogue works, it is important to merge enough dialogue to make all your characters, even the secondary and tertiary characters, unique and relatable. With the book I'm working on,"Cry of the Wolf Singer,"I'm using dialogue in a way that makes each character stand out without the narration being too overwhelming. This is where I must ask all of you: Have you read a book that has page-after-page-after-page of narration before you see a piece of dialogue between two characters? Have you ever witnessed a character not being fully developed because there was so little dialogue that the character "voice" was masked by the narrator "voice?"

Whenever I read a book, not only do I look for enjoyment but I also see how the balance of narration and dialogue works. When I read a book, I hear different voices: one from the narrator and many from the characters. However, if the narration is, let's say 3 or more pages, and then there is only four lines of dialogue, and then there are three more pages of narration afterwards, this is what happens in my mind: because of the little dialogue between the mass amounts of narration, the characters' voices are overwhelmed and masked by the narrator's voice; thus, making the whole piece monotone . With this occurring in some books I read and have read, I want to coin this phenomenon as " N.O.M.D Effect. " N.O.M.D = Narration Over-Masking Dialogue.

When you want to build up your characters with dialogue but you do not want to overwhelm the reader with narration, this is what I suggest: if you write away and notice that you have three pages or more of narration and you feel as though you're at the point of including dialogue, you should include at least six lines of dialogue between two characters. Every extra character, include two more lines of dialogue. You do not want to overwhelm the reader with narration because the narrator has their own voice as well and with my coined N.O.M.D Effect, you may make your writing monotone. To avoid this effect (and trust me, I hate reading monotone stories), this is what I do: I balance the narration with the dialogue.

In my writing, I try to follow a formula unless there is a need for a long conversation between characters: P1 = N-1 part + D 2 parts, P2 = N-2 parts + D 1 part. This is my personal formula when I'm writing a story. P stands for page, N stands for narrator, and D stands for dialogue. As you can see, I divide the pages into thirds and I try to support this formula unless (a) there is an action scene that needs more than 2 parts or one page of narration, (b) there is a long conversation between characters that requires more than 2 parts or one page of dialogue, (c) when I have multiple characters talking, there may not be any narration in one page, or (d) a dramatic event occurs that requires 1 page or more of narration. Otherwise, I follow this formula I created to make sure that the voices of the narrator and characters are balanced. By having these voices balanced, you will not only have your characters stand out, you will also have them more believable and realistic in your story. Here's an important thing to take note of: human beings are highly interactive and we use language more than we think (both verbally and nonverbally); hence, writers should try and replicate how human beings actually act so their characters can be more believable.

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Posted in Business Post Date 02/18/2018






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